Macau, Nov 28 (IANS) Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu is just one win away from defending her Macau Open Grand Prix Gold women’s singles title as she overcame Japanese Akane Yamaguchi 21-8, 15-21, 21-16 in the semi-final here on Saturday.
Fifth-seeded Sindhu, winner here for the last two years, needed an hour and three minutes to beat second-seeded Yamaguchi at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion. With this win, Sindhu also levelled the career head-to-head record to one-all. In the final of the $120,000 event, the two-time World Championship bronze medallist will face another Japanese Minatsu Mitani, who moved past China’s He Bingjiao 17-21, 21-12, 21-12 in 53 minutes in the second semi-final.
World No.18 Minatsu defeated Sindhu in the Japan Open in September in their only encounter so far. World No.12, Sindhu was quick to get off the mark and quite easily bagged the opener which sent out a strong message to her Japanese opponent.
However, world No.10 Yamaguchi made a fine comeback in the second game. After being locked at 15-15, the Japanese grabbed the next six points to clinch the game. But Sindhu was just not ready to give up and worked even harder in the decider, surging ahead to 11-5. Yamaguchi got a few points back but the Indian proved to be too good on the day.